Singapore notes
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From paying for food to taking the public transport, we use our Singapore currency for a multitude of reasons every day. However, many of us are unaware of every minute detail on each banknote – we’re not just talking about legal tender.

Here are some hidden secrets about our Singapore currency that even Da Vinci would approve!

1. The national anthem is printed on the back of the $1000 note

SG $1000 Note

SG $1000 Note
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If you happen to have a $1,000 note on hand, flip it to the back. Our entire national anthem in printed in microtext, find it if you can!

2. The “line” at the top of every currency is actually micro text

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Grab a magnifying glass and take a closer look at the top left-hand corner of any note. You will realise that the “line” that you think you see with your naked eye is not actually a line, but microtext that states “MONETARYAUTHORITYOFSINGAPORE”

3. The largest denomination of the Singapore currency was $10,000!!!

Image credit: Todayonline

Though we often use $50 notes in our day-to-day expenses, $1,000 and $10,000 notes also exist, with the largest being $10,000. However, with effect from 1st October 2014, they had to stop issuing $10,000 notes to lower the risk of money laundering.

4. Polymer (plastic) banknotes are not only for water-proofing purposes

SG polymer notes
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Not only can polymer notes survive a spin in the washing machine should you forget to empty your pockets – according to MAS, polymer notes last three to four times longer than their paper counterparts. You don’t have to worry about tearing your notes on accident anymore!

One other benefit of polymer notes is the fact that security features can be encrypted in them. Polymer notes are printed on special plastic derived from petroleum, and this material is not available commercially to prevent the reproduction of counterfeit notes.

5. The tree on the $5 note tree is still standing tall

Back of $5
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tembusu tree
Image credit: Straits Times

The Tembusu tree printed on our $5 note is an actual tree in Botanic Gardens! It is said to be at least 200 years old – even older than the 156-year-old garden itself.

6. Visually impaired users differentiate the denominations by the Braille Code

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Ever wonder what the dots on the top right corner in front of our Singapore notes represent? They’re actually the Braille code printed in heavy intaglio ink, so that the visually impaired can tell the different denominations apart.

7. Both the Brunei Dollar and the Singapore Dollar are accepted at either country

brunei and sg notes
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In order to facilitate economic and trade relations, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore adopted a system of free interchangeability of their respective currencies.

This took effect on 12 June 1967. However, Malaysia opted out of it in 1973. Singapore and Brunei decided to continue with the arrangement. Hence, both the Brunei dollar and Singapore dollar are currently accepted for use in either country at a ratio of 1:1.

The next time you pull a banknote out of your wallet, take some time to notice these minute details! A lot of thought goes into the designing of our local currency. Share these hidden secrets with your friends – we’re sure you’ll be able to amaze them!

(Header image by Bloomberg)

Also, read A Test Of Your Eyesight – Can You See The Hidden Words In SG’s Passport?

Categories: Uniquely Singapore